How 'Hip' Can Montgomery County Go?
And is being "hip" necessary to Montgomery County's future success?
Can suburban Montgomery County be made hip?
County Councilman Hans Riemer reportedly believes so: "I really think that we are on the verge of a golden age in Montgomery County," Riemer said at a happy hour called "Can we make the suburbs hip? The future of White Flint," Bethesda Now reported.
"The region that we are in is ... dynamic, growing, exciting... . ... But we have to and we are positioning ourselves in that region to capture that future growth," he added, Bethesda Now reported.
The White Flint Sector (430 acres bounded by the CSX tracks, Montrose Parkway, Old Georgetown Road and the White Flint Mall) has been approved, so far, to be redeveloped with 2,220 residential units added to the existing housing stock of 2,321 units; 9,801 additional units have been proposed, according to the approved and adopted county plan, available on the county's website.
Also, 1.8 million square feet of non-residential space have been approved, so far, to add to the existing 5.49 million square feet of non-residential space in the sector. An additional 5.69 million square feet of non-residential space have been proposed, according to the county plan.
And, perhaps in an effort to make the sector a little less like a bedroom community, the jobs-to-housing ratio has been approved to be whittled down from 9.81 jobs per housing unit to three jobs per housing unit, the county plan added.
Developers are proposing a walkable, pedestrian-friendly sector, too.
The North Bethesda Gateway development—intended for the area just south of the White Flint Metro station—recently received a makeover when developers and architects decided to give it a more pedestrian-friendly orientation and village-like feel than originally planned, The Gazette reported.
Will all these changes in White Flint—the lower jobs-to-housing ratio, the walkability, the village design—make the place more hip? And, if so, should this be replicated across the county?
County Councilman Roger Berliner stated at the Jan. 29 happy hour that the county's future depends on this new, hipper approach to development, Bethesda Now reported.
Do you think Montgomery County can become hip? If so, how? (Or, do you think it's hip—or hip enough—already?) Is this necessary for the county's future success? Tell us in the comments.